There are lots of reasons to adopt a dog: There are small pups that you can cuddle, loyal pooches that can offer constant companionship, and even guard dogs to make sure your family feels safe when they’re at home. If the idea of having a protective pet around interests you, start your search by looking at breeds that make the best guard dogs.
This loyal working dog breed is identifiable by their rough, tousled coat. That fierceness comes from their history: Caucasian Shepherds were used for centuries to protect properties from trespassers and to guard livestock from predators such as wolves and coyotes.
Much like their smaller companions, Giant Schnauzers are loved for their intelligence and loyalty.
What is the best guard dog for a family?
German shepherd. This breed is Hack’s first choice in terms of guard dogs, “for protection, security, and a family dog. ….Rottweiler. ….Doberman pinscher. ….Bullmastiff. ….Boxer. ….Great Dane. ….Giant Schnauzer.
What breed of dog is most protective?
Belgian Malinois. The Belgian Malinois are brilliant dogs, highly capable, and love to work. ….German Shepherds. ….Rottweilers. ….Doberman Pinscher. ….Bullmastiff. ….Giant Schnauzer. ….Rhodesian Ridgeback.
What is the #1 guard dog in the world?
1. Australian Shepherd. The Australian Shepherd is not only an extremely beautiful breed, but also makes a great guard dog. The breed is described as a “lean, tough ranch dog” by the AKC and is medium-sized.
Dogs have been protecting their humans at least since the days of Plato and Aristotle. Our needs for security, companionship, and loyalty havent changed much since then, making dogs a popular choice for protection of our loved ones and our property. Watchdogs will bark or otherwise alert their people to perceived intruders but usually wont attack. Guard dogs have a protective instinct for their families, honed over hundreds of years, says Gina DiNardo, executive secretary at the American Kennel Club, and they will bite or otherwise defend against threats. The best guard dog breeds have an intimidating size and appearance, and also display intelligence, fearlessness, and loyalty, DiNardo says, while the best owners will begin training when their dog is still a puppy. Here are some great examples of protective pooches.
Guard dogs have a protective instinct for their families, honed over hundreds of years, says Gina DiNardo, executive secretary at the American Kennel Club , and they will bite or otherwise defend against threats. During World War I, the breed earned a reputation for bravery and focus , thanks to their role as sentries and couriers, notes the BBC.
If they sense a threat, Airedales will bark relentlessly, and will put their powerful jaws to use if necessary, but are ready to love on anyone the family accepts. This stocky, curly-tailed Japanese mountain dog is revered in its native country as a symbol of good health and long life , according to the AKC. Because of the breeds long history as a fighting dog and its natural drive to hunt prey, an AmStaff will need proper training and socialization, especially if it will live with other pets or children.
Long used in police work, this dog breed achieved a moment of fame when one named Cairo helped Navy SEAL Team 6 take down Osama bin Laden in 2011. Similar in appearance to the German Shepherd, the Malinois is strong, intelligent, and loyal , making it a great choice for a guard dog. Weighing up to 140 pounds, and with a shock of shaggy black fur covering its eyes, nose, and mouth, a BRT could inadvertently knock over smaller children.
Boxers are more prone to certain health conditions than other breeds, including mast cell tumors, ulcerative colitis, and heart disease, according to Petful.com. The AKC notes this watchful dog was originally bred to help hunt lions , so standing up to suburban threats is no big deal. A bit smaller than their mastiff cousins, coming in at an average of about 100 pounds when fully grown, Rotties can still play the intimidation cardand back it up with their bite.
If theres one thing any new visitor learns when arriving at the house of a dog owner, its that these animals make the best guard dog breeds. Obviously, some are better at the job than others, unless you count a Labrador Retriever bombarding you with demands for strokes and attention as a method of guarding their home!
While its size, obvious power, speed, and alertness may look like its strongest attributes, its actually the Dobermans intelligence that makes it a great guard dog, as it can protect effectively with little training. The Dobermans naturally aggressive trait was bred out of it, making them highly affectionate dogs for the family, while also retaining the ability to protect.
(Image credit: Agency Animal Picture)OK, stick with us here, because although it may not look like a great guard dog, the Komondor is an unexpected ally against intruders. They have also developed a loud bark to alert shepherds, which although not ideal if living in an apartment, is perfect for warning you of any impending danger. These dogs were bred to herd cattle, so they are naturally brave animals, capable of standing their ground against larger creatures.
Theyre strong and resistant to pain, but also intelligent, meaning that it wont take much training for them to learn which visitors are friends and which are foes not to be trusted. They are fearless and natural protectors, and can switch from loving pet to furious guard dog in seconds, so they must be well trained to heed commands. Barking during the night isnt generally welcomed by dog owners (or their neighbors), but it will have the effect of deterring potential burglars.
Brave and patient, they are another breed that is ideal to keep round young families, making them a good choice should you be in need of protection. Big, wrinkly, and often full of drool, they may be gentle giants, but they are inherently protective and loyal and can be incredibly effective guard dogs. They require consistent training in order to be well-mannered and happy pups, but under the right tutelage make great companions and guard dogs.
Guard dogs can be a range of sizes, strengths, and skills, from big powerful brutes with a heart of gold, to watchful, suspicious guardians that have an eye for danger.
There are many reasons to want a guard dog: for personal protection, protection of property, or simply to know when a visitor is at the door. Unfortunately, guard dogs sometimes get a bad reputation, when in reality, the traits that make them fierce protectors are also the ones that make them incredible pets (and c’mon, most German shepherds are just giant goofballs).
Don’t let a Doberman’s sleek body fool you they’re strong, fast, and brave, making them the perfect dog to guard your house. Be prepared to spend a decent amount of time grooming them, because that thick coat of hair requires regular brushing they’ve got a beard, after all!
Puli dogs were originally meant for herding, so they learn fast and can easily outsmart any predators. Romanian Mioritic Shepherd dogs are loving and kind enough to be your closest bud, but they will bark and get aggressive if they encounter strangers they don’t trust.
Born to protect
Dogs have been protecting their humans at least since the days of Plato and Aristotle. Our needs for security, companionship, and loyalty haven’t changed much since then, making dogs a popular choice for protection of our loved ones and our property. Watchdogs will bark or otherwise alert their people to perceived intruders but usually won’t attack. Guard dogs have a protective instinct for their families, honed over hundreds of years, says Gina DiNardo, executive secretary at the American Kennel Club, and they will bite or otherwise defend against threats. The best guard dog breeds have an intimidating size and appearance, and also display intelligence, fearlessness, and loyalty, DiNardo says, while the best owners will begin training when their dog is still a puppy. Here are some great examples of protective pooches.
The “king of terriers,” the Airedale is friendly and exuberant—sometimes seeming to have no “off” switch, according to VetStreet.com. But Airedales are great with kids, and quick learners to boot, making them wonderful guard dogs. During World War I, the breed earned a reputation for bravery and focus, thanks to their role as sentries and couriers, notes the BBC. If they sense a threat, Airedales will bark relentlessly, and will put their powerful jaws to use if necessary, but are ready to love on anyone the family accepts. Airedales don’t like being alone, though, and if bored can resort to chewing and digging. They also can be aggressive toward other animals, and even play a little too rough with their family, unless trained otherwise. With their bearded chin and folded-down ears, Airedales have won the Westminster Dog Show four times, but the last time was in 1933.
This stocky, curly-tailed Japanese mountain dog is revered in its native country as a symbol of good health and long life, according to the AKC. Akitas are fiercely protective by nature and, in the Middle Ages guarded the Japanese emperor and his family. Helen Keller was gifted an Akita during a trip to Japan in 1937, making her the first American to have one. Akitas are very social animals, and can be playful and silly. Typically, they bark only when there’s a really good reason, says the Akita Rescue Society of America. Akitas can be aggressive with other dogs, and need to be socialized early on to interact appropriately with them as well as with people. Check out these fluffy dog breeds you’ll want to cuddle all day long.
American Staffordshire terrier
The AmStaff, which is one of several types of pit-bull dogs, is affectionate, playful, and energetic, despite its bull-like appearance. They enjoy mental stimulation, and have tons of personality, the AKC says. It requires a good deal of exercise, too, but can become overheated in warm weather, and isn’t a great swimmer. Weighing in between 50 and 80 pounds when fully grown, the AmStaff is muscular and powerful, and has a reputation for being unruffled by pain. Because of the breed’s long history as a fighting dog and its natural drive to hunt prey, an AmStaff will need proper training and socialization, especially if it will live with other pets or children. Learn the myths and truths about pit bulls.
This bearded behemoth lives to protect its family and home, according to the AKC. It has the size and strength to be good at it, and has the added benefit of being resistant to pain, WagWalking.com says. This breed likes constant attention, however, and has an extremely high need for both mental and physical stimulation. It can become destructive when those needs aren’t met. The giant schnauzer tends to chase pets that are smaller than it (basically all of them) so it’s best when it’s the only animal in the home. Don’t miss these black and white dog breeds for even more cuteness.
Hailing from Switzerland, these medium-sized mountain dogs are cheerful, smart, and energetic. Despite their mostly friendly demeanor, Appenzellers are naturally wary of strangers and definitely are not pushovers. They’re actually fearless, according to the AKC, and can’t be deterred from protecting their families, even if a big juicy steak is in the offing as a distraction. Appenzellers do better in colder climates and need a lot of space, so apartment living is out. If this sounds like too much work for you, you’ll want to know the best low-maintenance dogs for busy people.
You might not know it by looking at them, but Beaucerons, which strongly resemble Doberman pinschers, are actually the largest of all the French sheepdogs, according to the American Beauceron Club. Fans of this giant dog breed claim the dogs are sensitive and smart. With their calm demeanor and a confident, fearless attitude, too, Beaucerons can be terrific guard dogs. They will require firm training, however, to prevent them from dominating their families. For even more adorable pups, check out these flat-faced dogs that are just too precious.
Long used in police work, this dog breed achieved a moment of fame when one named Cairo helped Navy SEAL Team 6 take down Osama bin Laden in 2011. Another Belgian Malinois named Conan was honored in 2019 after the dog was injured during a raid on an ISIS leader in Iraq. Similar in appearance to the German Shepherd, the Malinois is strong, intelligent, and loyal, making it a great choice for a guard dog. However, it can also be territorial and jealous, according to the American Belgian Malinois Club. For that reason, families should be prepared to commit a substantial amount of time to training. Learn about some of the other bravest dogs in history.
Black Russian terrier
This massive dog was bred as a kind of “superdog” for the Russian army in the 1930s, according to the AKC. A team of scientists used genes from 17 breeds to develop this friendly-looking but aloof and fiercely protective dog to patrol its borders. Weighing up to 140 pounds, and with a shock of shaggy black fur covering its eyes, nose, and mouth, a BRT could inadvertently knock over smaller children. It also needs strong human leadership, or it may dominate certain family members, according to Petful.com. Read more about why you might want to consider a big dog.
Chesapeake Bay retriever
The AKC’s DiNardo says this is the most naturally protective of the sporting dogs. Though it’s sensitive and devoted to family, a Chessie is not nearly as effusive toward strangers as other retriever breeds and can be stubborn. Bred to retrieve waterfowl, this dog likes to be active and, specifically, to hunt, so it’s not a good choice for sedentary families.
A medium-sized dog, the boxer is affectionate, playful, patient, and all-around great with kids. They’re brawny and athletic, and look intimidating, even if they’re not actually aggressive. With training, however, this brindle dog breed can be great watchdogs. They have high energy levels, though, and need frequent exercise. Boxers are more prone to certain health conditions than other breeds, including mast cell tumors, ulcerative colitis, and heart disease, according to Petful.com. Find out if a boxer is the right dog for you.
This name translated from Latin means “bodyguard dog,” and it has been bred to be devoted to its family. Also known as an Italian Mastiff, this breed is enormous, often weighing more than 100 pounds. Its short, stiff coat lends to its imposing appearance and, indeed, this breed can be aggressive with strangers. It’s said to be impervious to pain, as even electric fences won’t deter it, Petful.com notes. But with its family, the cane Corso is affectionate. For these reasons, the cane Corso is one of the best guard dog breeds, though not for first-time dog owners. Training is imperative to prevent the dog from “owning” its family. See more dogs with floppy ears that you’ll want to bring home ASAP.
Bouvier des Flandres
Don’t let the friendly appearance and gentle demeanor of these fluffballs fool you. With muscular bodies that weigh up to 110 pounds, Bouviers are powerful and courageous, in addition to being super-smart. Thankfully, they’re also pretty laid back and loving when they’re just hanging out with the family, and will only become aggressive when a threat is imminent. They don’t shed a lot, but their fur can trap dirt and their beards can drip water, Orvis cautions. If you’re looking for a pup that will be totally devoted to your comfort, read up on the best emotional support dogs that will stand by you.
One of the best guard dog breeds, the Doberman is a sleek, powerful, fearless, and fast dog. It’s considered the fifth-smartest dog breed in the world, and is alert and loyal in protecting its people. It will also bark a lot. If it needs to, it will take a threat seriously, pinning an intruder against the wall or cornering it until humans take charge, according to InsideDogsWorld. When it’s off duty, the Doberman can be a big-time goofball. It has high energy needs and would make a great running companion. Unfortunately, it is also prone to a host of health conditions, including spinal compression, blood clotting problems, obesity, and skin issues, notes CertaPet. Find out about other smart dogs.
Estrela Mountain Dog
This dog is loving and devoted toward children and other family members but might choose one individual as its adored person. Intelligent and brave, it won’t hesitate to defend its people or their home, the AKC says. The Estrela is relatively calm in temperament, but definitely needs its space and daily walks. If it’s cooped up in tight surroundings, it might turn destructive. This big galumph of a dog—weighing up to 130 pounds—can be hard to find outside of its home nation of Portugal, according to DogZone.com. Learn about other rare dog breeds.
German shepherd dog
A classic choice because of his imposing stature and loud bark, this German dog breed is widely seen as one of the best guard dogs. Its loyalty and bravery know no bounds and it is willing to risk its own life for that of its family, the AKC says. It is a natural learner and easy to train, says CanineJournal.com. Sometimes a GSD can take its job a little too seriously, though, and needs to be taught not to pounce on anyone who approaches you or the home, GermanShepherdCentral.net points out. These dogs do shed a lot and like to have a job to do, so consider that before committing to one. Read about GSDs and other breeds that have saved their owners’ lives.
These extra-large dogs were bred more than 6,000 years ago to protect livestock, so they’re suspicious and watchful by nature. Given their size—up to 150 pounds—and their loud bark, they’re likely to deter any would-be interlopers. The downside is that they can be overly aggressive with visitors and unknown dogs. And because they are territorial, they need a fair amount of space to “patrol,” so apartment life isn’t for them. They are very loyal and protective of their family but not necessarily obedient except with firm training, advises CertaPet.
This is the Scooby-Doo breed. Unlike the clumsy Scoob, however, real-life Great Danes are graceful despite their incredible height of about 30 inches, CanineBible.com reports. They’re also courageous and have a deep, scary-sounding bark—not at all like Shaggy’s best friend. It’s this bark, combined with their intimidating size, that makes Great Danes a good choice for a watchdog. However, just like the cartoon dog, they have affectionate, gentle personalities, and probably won’t actually bite an intruder. CCProtectionDogs.com notes that Great Danes are also playful and patient with kids. They tend to have shorter lives—usually about six to ten years—and are prone to heart, bone, and gastrointestinal conditions.
This breed’s name comes from the distinctive ridge of fur that grows in the opposite direction of the rest of the dog’s coat and stands up along its spine. The AKC notes this watchful dog was originally bred to help hunt lions, so standing up to suburban threats is no big deal. This breed can be stubborn and domineering, and like all other guard dogs, needs to be trained. Among family, the ridgeback is affectionate, patient, friendly, and loyal, but definitely needs to be taught how to interact with children, Hillspet.com says. See why some dogs, including the Rhodesian ridgeback, are often mistaken for other dogs.
Rotties, as they are known to their fans, can be sweet and playful with their families, and are very protective of them. To outsiders, rottweilers may appear aloof, the AKC says. The breed is actually descended from ancient mastiffs and almost went extinct in the late 1800s. A bit smaller than their mastiff cousins, coming in at an average of about 100 pounds when fully grown, Rotties can still play the intimidation card—and back it up with their bite. Because they can inflict severe injury, it’s imperative that rottweilers be socialized and trained early on so that they understand when it is and is not okay to act aggressively. Training can also help prevent their barking from becoming a nuisance. See the Rottie and other cutest dog breeds as puppies.